Where does Risk Identification fit in your insurance and risk management program? Do you do it at set times every year as part of your insurance continuation process? When was the last time you completed your annual risk survey?
Risk Identification & Insurance
Let’s start by addressing an important distinction here – what’s the reason you bought insurance? I’m guessing you’re here reading this because you know your business has exposure to risk and you want to better protect your business from financial loss.
It might not surprise you to learn that the only reason many businesses buy insurance is because there they have a legal or contractual requirement to carry insurance. For these businesses, the sale of an insurance policy most often comes down to price and the actual coverage they have is at best a secondary concern.
At Stillwell Risk Partners, we help our clients solve the problem of where insurance fits in your company’s risk management plan. We do this through first making sure that we have the right fit between ourselves and our clients, then understanding both what you have at risk and what exposures to risk you have.
The quoting of your insurance coverage comes later, only after we’ve identified your risk. Decisions on your insurance coverage take place only after we’ve helped you address your risk management plan. The end result is that our clients have a better understanding of their risk, more control over all the costs of risk (not just insurance), and the peace of mind in knowing their business is well protected.
Insurance can be purchased stand-alone without first conducting a Risk Identification exercise – but that’s not the process we take. Risk Identification is an important first step to make that the money you’re spending on insurance is well spent.
Risk Identification Process
There are several steps to this process and they happen at varying times. It’s important to know what you’re at risk for, but we also understand you have a business to run and all your time can’t be dedicated to insurance.
So what we do is make it work within your schedule.
The initial risk identification process will consist of a Risk Assessment. A risk assessment is like the Balance Sheet in a set of financial statements. If you’re not familiar with it, the Balance Sheet is a snapshot in time of a company’s assets & liabilities – it summarizes where a company is at at a specific moment in time. The Risk Assessment is like that, but helps to answer the following questions:
- How are you handling your risk now?
- What are you doing to improve your risk profile for the future?
- What risk management services are you getting now as part of your insurance program?
- What risk management services might you be missing?
In working through this exercise, we learn whether there’s a fit for us to work together. Maybe your current broker meets with you monthly to help you improve your risk profile, evaluation a safety program, help you coordinate cyber security or disaster recovery training, and strategize with you about your current and future risk.
Or maybe you’re not getting any of this and would like to get a little more from a broker that earns a nice share of the premiums you pay.
The Risk Survey is the next step in building our relationship. This is an industry-specific guide to uncovering the exposure to risk that is present in your business.
The importance of the Risk Survey – and the importance of conducting it with you annually – cannot be understated. Risk exists whether we recognize it’s there and the Risk Survey helps us to uncover it.
The Risk Survey is something that we complete together. It’s not an insurance application or a questionnaire, it’s a tool used to get to the root of where your risk is and to start an analysis that informs the decision making process around everything related to your insurance and risk management program.
Annual Proactive Maintenance
One of the great benefits of conducting your Risk Assessment and Risk Survey at the beginning of our relationship is that it facilitates an ease of doing business throughout the entirety of our relationship.
We’ll work with you to update these evaluations annually from a place where there is already great understanding between us. The practice of continual Risk Identification helps identify not only future threats on the horizon, but also clarifies where there may be opportunity.
Insurance is about protecting against threats. An effective risk management program is a holistic approach to risk that recognizes both threats and opportunities. Risk Identification is a cornerstone of an effective risk management program.
If you’re frustrated by an insurance renewal process in which there’s no real strategy from your broker – or that you have no control over…
If you can’t remember that last time you and your broker completed a Risk Survey – or if you’ve never completed one…
If you’d like to get more value from the premiums you pay for your insurance than just the transaction of a policy…
…than let’s have a conversation. All I’d like to do is learn a little about you, your company and how you’re handling your risk now. And if there’s a fit, then we can have that second conversation.